Philippine National Police to receive 25,120 Israeli Tavor assault rifles

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is set to receive 25,120 new 5.56-m IWI assault rifles, which will be sourced from the General Appropriations Act of 2019 and Trust Receipts. Even though the statement doesn't mention the model, it seems probable that it is a Tavor TAR-21 or X95.

Philippine National Police to receive 25120 new Israeli assault rifles
 Tavor 7 assault rifle, a more advanced version than the one selected by the Philippine National Police, probably the Tavor TAR-21 or X95 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

This was after PNP’s Bid and Awards Committee entered a partnership with the Ministry of Defense of Isreal through the government-to-government (G2G) mode of acquisition. The PNP will acquire the rifles from the Israel Weapons Industries (IWI).

Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa, PNP officer-in-charge, said that “Through various discussions and coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of National Defense (DND), and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the historical procurement was given birth.” Gamboa signed the implementing arrangement on Dec. 11, 2019, with Nuni Sella, East Asia regional director of the Israel Ministry of Defense.

Gamboa noted that in 2019, PNP bought 5,767 basic assault rifles for P46,999 each. “These procurement projects were done through Competitive Public Bidding, and these projects passed the very rigid and strict post-qualification procedures, test and evaluation, and acceptance requirements of the PNP,” the PNP-OIC said.

The IWI Tavor is an Israeli bullpup assault rifle chambered in 5.56×45mm NATO caliber with a selective fire system, selecting between semi-automatic mode and full automatic fire mode. The Tavor is produced in two main variants: the TAR-21 and the CTAR-21. Built around a long-stroke piston system (as found in the M1 Garand and AK-47), the Tavor is designed to maximize reliability, durability, simplicity of design, and ease of maintenance, particularly under adverse or battlefield conditions.

In 2009, the Tavor X95 (also known as the Micro Tavor or MTAR) was selected by the IDF to gradually replace the M16 assault rifle and M4 carbine variants as the standard-issued weapon of the Israeli infantry by the end of 2018. The first X95 bullpup rifles were issued to infantry units in 2013. Both the TAR-21 and X95 are part of the Tavor family of rifles, along with the Tavor 7.